Junkyard Find: 1977 Plymouth Volare
The Volaré and its Dodge sibling, the Aspen, were perfectly competent cars for their time, (anectodally) more reliable than the Chevy Nova and Ford Maverick (and, later, the Fairmont) competition and, if you looked at them from the right angle, better looking. Still, they were never quite as beloved as the Dart/Valiant A-bodies that they replaced, and they have not aged well. In fact, most of them got crushed during the 1990s, so it’s not often that I see examples like this one in self-service wrecking yards.
Of course, the Volaré and its Detroit rivals were taking a beating during the gloom of the Malaise Era, with ever-rising fuel prices and the swelling market share of the Japanese automakers. Not long after this car was built, Chrysler had to seek out loan guarantees from the federal government.
We all know about Ricardo Montalban’s ads for the Cordoba, but we mustn’t forget that Sergio Franchi‘s ads for the Volaré were nearly as suave. This car had a “special” suspension!
This sporty coupe came with bucket seats, tape stripes, and two-tone paint.
And, for practicality’s sake, the extraordinarily reliable Slant Six.
Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.
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